Sockeye Salmon

Fishing for Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon, also called red salmon or kokanee salmon, are an anadromous species of salmon found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers discharging into it. The second most abundant salmon in Alaska, the sockeye is also referred to as the "red salmon" due to its distinctive fire truck-red spawning coloration. Sockeyes are found in lake-fed river systems from May to September, with the best fishing to be had in July near the mouths and lake inlets of their spawning streams. Most abundant in the Bristol Bay region, the sockeye is also available in Kodiak, the Kenai Peninsula, and to a lesser extent Southeast Alaska. Tipping the scales at 4-8 lbs with the occasional brute going 12lbs or better, the sockeye is an exceptional fighting fish, known for its blistering runs and tremendous leaps.  

How Frontiers Can Help Your Dream Sockeye Salmon Become a Reality. 

We have five decades of experience and our services are free. There are no surcharges for our efforts and advice. So why not give our team a call! Remember, we want to speak to you so we can best advise you! Below you will find a list of our fishing experts. Contact one of our consultants and they will do the following for you:

  • Talk you through the options and provide you with impartial advice that you will not receive directly from a lodge. We have 50 years of sporting travel experience!
  • If you like what you hear, we will book your trip and assist with all preparations.
  • Frontiers will provide you with our industry leading pre-trip prior to your departure, which will tell you what to pack and how things will work.
  • If you need equipment, we will put you in touch with some of the most knowledgeable people in the business. They will provide you with exactly what you need.
  • While you travel, Frontiers provides 24-hour emergency contact.


Several lodges we represent in Alaska are the best place to fish for sockeye.  


The word that best describes the fight of the sockeye would be "explosive." Capable of ripping off high-speed runs liberally sprinkled with meteoric leaps, the sockeye demand the use of a 7 or 8wt rod to handle them. Reels with a large arbor and a good drag are a must-have to be able to keep up with the sockeye both coming and going. Effectively fishing for sockeye means putting the fly right on their nose. Depending upon the method of presentation, fly line choices include sinking tip fly lines or a weight forward floating line with a long leader and plenty of split shot. 


Sockeye feed on zoo plankton during their ocean cycle. Because their food source is the smallest of the small, sockeye tend to eat flies that are small and sparse. Often flies in the size #4 - #8 tied on stout salmon or saltwater hooks are the best. 

Ask The Expert

UK Managing Director

Senior Program Manager

Specializes in Alaska and Canada fishing, and South America fishing and big game programs.

Department Manager

Specializes in South America fishing and shooting departments. Plus, fishing in Mongolia and Canada.


Bristol Bay Lodge

Fly-out fishing in Wood-Tikchik State Park, Bristol Bay and Southwest Alaska

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Goodnews River Lodge

They don’t call it the “Goodnews” River for nothing! Front-page worthy locale

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Hoodoo Sportfishing Lodge

Located on the extreme northwest tip of the Alaska Peninsula near Nelson Lagoon

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Kulik Lodge

Katmai National Park, Southwest Alaska, between Kulik and Nonvaniuk Lakes

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No See Um Lodge

Perched on the Kvichak River with access to Bristol Bays finest fly out fishing

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Reel Action Alaska Lodge

Lies within the Togiak Wildlife Refuge, famous for mousing for huge rainbows

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Intricate Bay Lodge

Fly out to the best rivers of the Katmai from this newly built luxury lodge

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Aniak River Lodge

Extraordinary diversity - all five salmon types, trout and everything in between

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Alaska Clearwater Sportfishing

Drift boat fly fishing the Kenai River. No experience needed to catch fish!

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Skeena Spey Riverside Wilderness and Lodge

Catch mint bright huge Kings and steelhead with top guides from a superb lodge

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Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge

Remote 160 private acres within Katmai Natl Park on the fish rich Alagnak River

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Bear Trail Lodge

The Naknek River is the Number One Rainbow Trout River in Alaska

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